“We’ve two political events on this nation; we can not have certainly one of them be deserted to finish nutcases. We’ve acquired to have two good political events.”
－ Richard Painter, former White Home lawyer
Good day Downriver,
Greater than half the nation could not have appreciated the end result of this month’s elections — with Republicans taking again management of the U.S. Home — however we now have a really attention-grabbing experiment at work in our midst.
You see, Congress could also be divided — Dem-controlled Senate, GOP-controlled Home — however our personal Michigan Legislature is all Dem on a regular basis come 2023.
Which implies that in some methods we’ll be capable of gauge which physique will get extra finished within the coming two years.
Or, extra particularly, which political social gathering will get extra finished.
If preliminary speeches are any indication, nonetheless, it’s potential we already know the reply.
Certain, the Dem-controlled Senate will successfully block Republican concepts that run counter to their very own beliefs.
However the phrases spoken by Republicans solely hours after studying they’ve voting management of the Home inform us the whole lot we have to find out about what to anticipate for the subsequent two years.
And it’s not about concepts.
The New York Instances summed it up this fashion: “Their agenda is investigative, not legislative.”
A working example: U.S. Rep. James Comer (R-KY), who will quickly lead the Home Oversight Committee, advised reporters that “if we might hold it about Hunter Biden, that is sort of a giant deal, we predict.”
Since when did the president’s grownup son influence the worth of eggs, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, COVID — and even the current election, for that matter?
However the tin-foil-hat crowd didn’t cease there: U.S. Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX), a member of the Home Judiciary Committee, advised NBC Information that he helps impeaching Homeland Safety Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, including, “It’s not even an in depth name.”
He didn’t elaborate, so I don’t know what the grounds for any impeachment is perhaps — except it’s for respiratory.
After which there’s the queen of nuts, U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), who advised Capitol Hill journalists that incoming GOP leaders are, the truth is, on board with “investigations into the remedy of pre-trial Jan. 6 defendants.”
You imply the insurrectionists, don’t you?
However the loopy doesn’t cease there: Some extremists within the social gathering really assume it’s a good suggestion to easily shut the entire thing down.
U.S. Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL) went as far as to say authorities shutdowns are undoubtedly within the playing cards, now that his social gathering is in management.
“No person’s ever actually appreciated (authorities shutdowns),” he stated. “However I feel you’re in a unique state of play proper now, the place folks shall be, partially, pining for presidency shutdowns.”
Shut down Social Safety funds, paychecks to the army, help to these most in want?
Once more, no causes given — it simply looks like a good suggestion.
So, there you will have the makings of the subsequent two years in Congress — with a Republican-led Home failing to get something of substance finished, however the Dem-led Senate unable to behave unilaterally to assist our nation transfer ahead.
Alternatively, in Lansing, we’ll have Democrats main all three branches of presidency: government, legislative and judicial.
And matched with voter approval of three poll proposals, this yr represents a seismic shift within the Michigan political panorama.
So, what does this new look imply for Michigan — and us?
State Sen. Jim Ananich (D-Flint), the outgoing Senate minority chief, stated “you may belief that the brand new Democratic management will help ladies’s reproductive well being, higher pathways to good-paying jobs, clear consuming water and protected roads.”
Echoing that perspective was Home Minority Chief Donna Lasinski (D-Scio Twp.), who stated that along with defending “ladies’s bodily autonomy and (making) positive selections have been made with their physician and never with a politician,” her social gathering’s plans going ahead are “to spend money on sturdy public-school methods, to make sure voting rights and protections and to make sure we have been constructing an economic system in Michigan that might compete on a worldwide foundation.”
Reelected Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer stated her priorities embody competing for extra automotive and clear power tasks, preventing to repeal the retirement tax and dealing to guard the Nice Lakes and bettering public training.
“We’ll make Michigan a spot the place you may envision your future state the place anybody — regardless of who they’re, the place they arrive from, how a lot cash they’ve of their pocket, who they love or how they determine — can thrive proper right here,” she stated.
However the priorities don’t finish within the government workplace: Legislative Democrats have their very own record of points.
State Sen. Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids) and state Rep. Julie Brixie (D-Okemos) need to codify the constitutional amendments authorised by voters and repealing a 1931 legislation on the books that criminalizes abortion.
State Sen. Dayna Polehanki (D-Livonia) put priorities on social media, and is contemplating repeal of a number of Republican measures: right-to-work legal guidelines that enable staff to get pleasure from the advantages of collective bargaining with out having to pay union dues, legal guidelines mandating third graders repeat the grade if they’re multiple grade degree behind and restrictions on reproductive rights.
Different Dems say they are going to advocate for stronger anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ residents, more cash for faculties and native governments, extra regulation of companies and constitution faculties and modifications to the state’s gun legal guidelines.
Now, Dems can have a slim majority in each chambers of the Legislature, however they are going to have majorities, which implies in the event that they persist with a unified agenda, issues will get finished.
And so they’ll by judged by us as as to whether we agree with what they’ve completed.
In Congress, nonetheless, will probably be a relatively dismal two years forward, with excessive Republicans (isn’t that every one of them anymore?) concentrating on investigations that can haven’t any influence in your lives in any respect.
Certain, you could possibly argue — incorrectly — that Dems have been doing the identical factor.
However there’s an infinite hole between no matter tin-foil-hat Republicans assume Hunter Biden did and what 2,000 rioters and insurrectionists did on Jan. 6 in trying to take down our democracy.
Or what the previous president did when he illegally took U.S. paperwork to his Florida dwelling.
So, let’s not get into such false equivalencies; they’re false.
In fact, ultimately, there’s all the time yet one more factor: He’s that twice-impeached former president I simply talked about who nonetheless has visions of grandeur — however could nicely haven’t any influence in any respect on our lives going ahead.
However, boy, is he going to influence these loonies in Congress; it’s going to be enjoyable watching them carry out for his approval (moderately than govern) — and in that sole respect, they’ll hopefully do little injury to the republic.
Nevertheless, they might nicely irreparably injury their very own social gathering, hopefully laying the muse for the emergence of one thing higher.
Ultimately, although, I’m much less all for what’s going to occur inside one political social gathering or one other — besides from a purely leisure perspective.
As a substitute, I need to know “what’s subsequent?”
What’s going to occur in Congress and our Legislature to make our lives higher, our society extra truthful and our nation extra protected, safe and affluent?
My suspicion is that we’ll see rather more progress within the Michigan Legislature than in Congress, and I believe the experiment will show me proper.
Let’s get again collectively in two years to verify the outcomes, OK?
Craig Farrand is a former managing editor of The Information-Herald Newspapers. He might be reached at email@example.com.